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1634 Blaeu Africa

by Maps of Africa

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"Africae Nova Descriptio"

Published by Guiljelmo Blaeu, 1634

Printed by Lahaina Printsellers, Ltd., 2016

This superb reproduction of "Africae Nova Descriptio" by Guiljelmo Blaeuw (Blaeu), from his Atlas Major of 1634, is a classic mapping of the dark continent from the 17th century.

Embellished with a traditional title cartouche and colorful vignettes illustrating the native people, this map embodies the famous couplet attributed to Jonathan Swift: "So geographers, in Afric-maps, With savage pictures fill their gaps, And o'er unhabitable downs, Place elephants for want of towns."

Much of the geographical information is still based on the maps of Ptolemy, with the source of the Nile shown as Lakes Zaire and Zaflan. Also depicted are mythical lakes and rivers, including the famous Lake Sachaf of Laurent Fries.

Only coastal towns are named on the Cape, with the printing covering much of the unknown territory. The map is decorated with elephants, lions, and ostriches on the land areas, and ships and sea monsters on the sea.

We custom-print this facsimile map on waterproof canvas in our Lahaina studio using the finest archival inks, which are tested and guaranteed not to fade or shift under normal circumstances for over 100 years. Modern printing techniques allow us to improve and enhance the historical subject matter, even as we're careful to preserve and maintain its historical and artistic integrity.